Rasmussen: Ohio Senate Race Becomes a “Toss-Up”

Leah Barkoukis

10/9/2012 1:05:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis

It seems Romney’s post-debate bounce in Ohio also had a discernible effect on the Senate race between Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Ohio’s state Treasurer Josh Mandel. In the month leading up to the debate Brown had a steady lead. Immediately after the debate, however, Rasmussen had the race tied at 46 among a survey of likely Ohio voters, moving the race from ‘Safe Democrat’ to ‘Toss-Up’.  Six percent were undecided.

Outside groups have been dumping money into the critical battleground state and they’re in it to sway more than just the Senate race, seeing that they’ve been in the state long before Mandel came to the forefront as Brown’s challenger. When it comes down to it, for a Republican to take the White House, they have to win Ohio– historically speaking, anyways. So presumably the goal was to begin weakening the president in the swing state early on to create a more level playing field for Republican candidates.

“We are the center of the political universe come election time,” said Ohio state GOP Communications Director Matthew Henderson. “Everything on the ground tells us this race is still neck and neck.”

Henderson pointed to Gov. Mitt Romney’s recent bus tour through Ohio where “thousands of people showed up for rallies” as proof positive liberalism isn’t the ticket to winning the Senate race.

“Sen. Brown is in a lot of trouble,” Henderson said. “He’s rated one of the most liberal members in the entire Congress, and that’s bad news in a state where voters are evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.”

Brown is running as what Politico calls, an “unabashed liberal.” Rather than trying to distance himself from President Obama and move to the center in an effort to get re-elected like many of his Democratic counterparts this election– he’s remained steadfast in his pro-union, pro-Obamacare and pro-stimulus positions. Crossroads GPS is out with a new ad in the state today hammering Brown for his “out-of-focus vision that costs Ohio jobs.”